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Lessons of the Week! Jonathan Groff, Audra McDonald & More

first_img View Comments Jonathan Groff Happy Friday…and Happy Sutton Foster Day! We’re sure you have plenty of plans for this Broadway holiday, from partaking in the traditional licking of noses to selling your panties online. But before that, let’s revisit the wildest stories of the past seven days on the Great White Way. From a Psycho vlogger who literally just can’t to a naked Ben Platt, we’ve got you covered. Take a look below!Groffsauce Can Get You HitchedLook out, Bette. There’s a new Broadway matchmaker…and he loves dick socks and anal covers. The Robber Bridegroom’s Steven Pasquale revealed that it was none other than Jonathan Groff who set Pasquale up with Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo. Groff’s even officiating their wedding. So while our dreams of marrying Groff are still a stretch, at least he can marry us to someone else. You in, Tveit?POTUS & Hermione Can Drop BeatsWe bet Hamilton is at last feeling pretty damn presidential this week. After performing at the White House, Lin-Manuel Miranda took to the Rose Garden with POTUS himself to freestyle about Obamacare, the Supreme Court and more. Oh, and he also freestyled with Emma Watson. Are there any important people who haven’t hung out with Miranda at this point? That’s a lot of right-hand men and women.Audra was Uranowitz THIS WHOLE TIMEAudra McDonald is obviously an incredibly versatile performer, whether she’s tapping in Shuffle Along… or singin’ the blues in Lady Day. But her latest performance is something special. While this looks and sounds like An American in Paris’ Brandon Uranowitz, it’s actually Audra in a pink bob. It’s easy to get them confused, considering they have the same vocal range and both played Billie Holiday for HBO.Julia Murney’s Got a New Title RoleSpeaking of versatile performers, Julia Murney is at last taking on the titular character in Fiddler on the Roof. No, not the fiddler. The other one: the roof. Third shingle from the left, specifically. This is all according to the Murn herself when she visited Adam Kantor at the stage door. We haven’t seen a performance this transcendent since Julia Murney’s Side Show opposite Wayne Brady.Houdsyshell Was an Accidental CarmenEver felt miscast in a role? Jayne Houdyshell sure has. The star of The Humans played “Carmen” in the J. Lo film Maid in Manhattan, but before you retroactively boycott the 2002 masterpiece for whitewashing, consider this: it’s purely accidental: Houdyshell was assigned the wrong role. We can’t wait to see Houdyshell unintentionally headline On Your Feet! following her stint in at the Helen Hayes.Ana Villafañe Rocks Her Body RightBefore Jayne Houdyshell inevitably takes over in On Your Feet!, its current star Ana Villafañe still has plenty of time to conga to the music of Gloria Estefan. Or NSYNC. Or the Backstreet Boys. That’s right: boy bands make her get on her feet and make it happen. Hey, Ana: we hear there’s a Backstreet Boys musical in the works. Not sure if there’s any conga involved, but doesn’t hurt to ask.Fruma Sarah Would Def Sashay AwayWe have no doubt Fruma Sarah would slay a Lip Sync for Your Life (er, Afterlife) challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, but she would definitely be clocked for her makeup skills. On #LiveatFive, Fiddler’s Jessica Vosk revealed that the approach to her beat is very unpolished; there’s no contouring or blending for the dead. No shade; that’s just how you serve Butcher’s First Wife realness.Jennifer Damiano Can’t…She’s in TechIf there are two things we know about tech week, it’s these: 1. It’s a terrible time to get proposed to, and 2. It’s not the ideal time to grab a camera and show us around your theater. Well, the latter is precisely what we had Jennifer Damiano do in her American Psycho vlog. The show apparently looks amazing, but of course, no one’s allowed to see it (not even us). Damn you, tech. Bad for proposals, bad for Broadway.com vlogs.Gabrielle Ruiz Has Smelled the Best of ‘EmOn top of being a fierce beltress and dancer who’s so good at yoga, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Gabrielle Ruiz has a gifted sense of smell. According to her, former castmates Ricky Martin and Idina Menzel smell like Creamsicles and magic, respectively. Also, Lea Salonga gives off the aroma of muffins and paprika. Thanks, Ruiz, this is actually extremely helpful the Broadway fragrance line we’ve been developing.Ben Platt Did Not Do Pajama Day RightHigh school is the time to make bad decisions. Maybe you rocked a tragic hairstyle. Perhaps you wrote Fiyero/Boq fanfic (this writer is certainly not speaking from experience). For Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt, it was deciding to go commando on pajama day—for that was the day he got pantsed and everyone met his dear Evan Hansen. Wow. How aca-embarrassing. Ana Villafane, Jonathan Groff, Audra McDonald, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jennifer Damiano & Ben Platt(Photos: Bruce Glikas) Star Fileslast_img read more

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Race Ahead: New River Trail Challenge

first_imgThe New River Trail Challenge Triathlon,  September 20, 2014First run in 2000, the New River Trail Challenge has quickly become Virginia’s premiere adventure triathlon, attracting 200 athletes in 2013.The race consists of a 40 mile bike ride, 12.1 mile kayak leg, and a half marathon run in New River Trail State Park. Athletes can compete either solo or in teams of two or three, and all skill and age levels are welcome. Categories are age and gender based, trophies and medals are awarded to the top three teams in each category. After the race join in the fun for a beverage and refreshments in the “Libation Station.”sponsored-eventThe race is preceded by a fundraiser Friday night, featuring a band and local brewery to benefit the Pulaski Food Bank.Date: September 20, 2014Location: New River Trail State ParkStart Time: 8:30 a.m.Race Size: Capped at 300Race Contact: Virginia State Parks, Steve [email protected]; (804) 837-8354raceahead-new river trail challenge4last_img read more

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Bombora makes board changes

first_imgBombora Wave Power has made a number of changes to its Board of Directors including the appointment of a new Chair, Richard Beresford.Beresford is a highly experienced renewable energy and natural gas executive who specializes in commercializing new energy technologies and resources, said the Australian-based wave energy developer Bombora.He currently holds Non-Executive Directorships at Liquified Natural Gas Limited and Eden Innovations, and has previously held Chairperson and Director roles with numerous other energy companies.Bombora’s scaled WEC system (Photo: Bombora Wave Power)Former Chair, Tim Croot, remains on the Board as an independent Non-Executive Director, Bombora informed.Shawn Ryan, Non-Executive Director and Co-founder of Bombora 10 years ago, has retired from the Board. Ryan was a member of the Board for four years and served in both executive and non-executive capacities during this time.Furthermore, Glen Ryan, Non-Executive Director, Co-founder of Bombora and inventor of the concept of the mWave, also retired from the Board this year.Commenting on the changes, Sam Leighton, Chief Executive Officer of Bombora said: “The appointment of Richard as Chair expands the Board’s skill set with specific renewable energy financial and technical experience, which will be highly beneficial for the commercialization process of Bombora’s mWave.”Bombora has developed a membrane style wave energy converter called an mWave.Resting on the sea floor, similar to a fully submerged reef, it is invisible from the shoreline. As ocean waves pass over the mWave, the membrane deflects pumping air through a turbine to generate electricity.The company is working on the development of full-scale 1.5MW wave energy converter prototype which will be deployed off Portugal.last_img read more

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Law Allows District Elections To Move To November

first_imgBy John BurtonLawmakers hope a recently enacted law will do for fire district elections what a similar one did for school board elections a few years ago.Assembly Bill A-1690, which Gov. Chris Christie signed into law on Aug. 7, allows for local fire districts to move their elections to the date of the general election in November, if the district choses.State Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-11), who represents a portion of Monmouth County, was a co-sponsor of the bill. There are numerous reasons to allow districts to move their elections, including the probable increased participation by coordinating it with the higher attendance of a general election, Downey said.Fire district elections are traditionally held on the third Saturday in February and are often not particularly well advertised which means voter turnout can be particularly small.Downey said usually less than 2 percent of voters bother to go to the polls in February. “Sometimes it’s less than 1 percent,” she said.“This will promote transparency and awareness of district operations,” Downey said of the bill.This law will allow districts to move the election contingent on the approval of the county board of elections. Candidates for the fire district election would be nominated through the direct nomination by petition process set in state statute.The law would eliminate voter referenda for the district’s budget, as long as the budget is within the state 2 percent property tax levy cap; and would do away with voter approval on certain capital purchases, as long as it’s approved by at least a two-third majority vote of the district commissioners, according to the statute.Moving the election would save taxpayers money, as well, Downey said, pointing out it would do away with the cost of conducting a special election.Fire districts cover both paid and volunteer departments. And the elections tend not to be very competitive, observed Richard Kosmoski, president of the New Jersey Volunteer Fire Chiefs Association. In an email response, Kosmoski said, “A very minimum amount of voters turn out, so if you can muster enough support, you win the election.” Those who muster that support are usually members of that department.Despite the lack of attention on the part of voters, some fire districts oversee substantial budgets and award contracts and determine some salaries with little oversight, Downey said. “If fire districts can show they can work like other local governments,” she said, “they should be treated like other government units.”This would go into effect for the November 2019 elections, if the districts decide to move in that direction.Both the Asbury Park Press and the Star-Ledger of Newark have published editorials supporting the change, with the Ledger calling the off-time elections “the last bastion of balloting that escapes the eyes of higher authorities.”“I think it’ll be a good thing,” Downey maintained, “And hopefully people will take the time to see who the people are who are running.”In 2011, public school districts were permitted to move their board of education elections to November’s general election. “It was successful,” Downey said, noting by 2015 all but 17 boards around the state had moved their elections to the November general election.Kosmoski said for operation purposes, “I don’t see it having a major impact on the fire district.”The fire districts in Monmouth County are: Keansburg, Wall, Freehold Township, Tinton Falls, Ocean, Aberdeen, Neptune Township, Manalapan, Marlboro, Howell, Colts Neck, Hazlet Englishtown and Union Beach.last_img read more

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Leaf sniper Gavin Currie makes his own history

first_imgBy Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily SportsMove over Mike Laughton.Take a seat Frank Carlson.Why don’t you just sit right down and relax Bill McDonnell.On the weekend Nelson fans celebrate 75 years of history in the Civic Centre Arena — history that includes more than just hockey events — there’s a new kid on the block making a name for himself across the parking lot from the Grand Old Barn.Gavin Currie is quickly becoming a household name to hockey fans in Nelson, much like Laughton, Carlson and McDonnell were during their playing days.“Everyone has been so nice to me. People who I’ve stayed with have welcomed me into their homes . . . . Nelson is kind of my second home away from home,” the Leaf scoring star recently told The Nelson Daily.Fans with any knowledge of the Leafs know quite well the value of the Abbotsford native.
 Currie, 20, leads the Leafs in scoring with 33 points. He’s coming off a six-point weekend and has accumulated 15 points in the past eight games.However, getting Currie to the Heritage City was the sole mission of former Leaf coach and GM, Simon Wheeldon. And if the Leafs manage to find success this season, current skipper Chris Shaw should send a bottle of the best bubbly the way of the former main man.“Simon wrote me a letter after the (2008) Westside training camp to ask if I wanted to come to play for Nelson,” Currie explained. “I had a few other offers, but those teams were just sending me pamphlets and Simon really took an interest in me.”“He kept phoning me and phoning me and I finally I told him I’d give it a try and this is the best decision I’ve ever made,” Currie added. Currie has been one of the better Leaf players. Retract that statement. With all due respect to the Connor McLaughlin, Tyler Parfeniuk and Taylor O’Neil, the 6’1”, 175-pound forward is the best player on the roster all season long.“Gavin is a player in this league that probably shouldn’t be in this league but has found a home here in Nelson and really loves it,” Shaw said when asked about the team’s leading scorer. “He’s kind of a quiet leader in the dressing room and keeps the guys lighthearted. “But to have a player like that, a two-way player that’s so dynamic offensively, and pretty responsible defensively, it’s definitely a plus.”Despite finding his second home in Nelson, for a brief time after accepting Wheeldon’s offer Currie became a little scared as to where he was heading. So out came the B.C. road map of B.C. calm his nerves. “I never knew about Nelson. . .. I really never knew Nelson existed,” admitted Currie, adding fuel to frustrations of Interior folk that Lower Mainlanders don’t figure there is anything worth any value after Hope. “I thought (Nelson) was really Fort Nelson where it snowed and was minus-50 every day,” he added with a smile.But after landing in Kootenay Country Currie adapted quickly to Wheeldon’s four-line rotation. Playing in 39 games during his first season, Currie scored 13 goals while adding 16 assists for 29 points.That season was capped off with the KIJHL Championship. The success prompted Currie to seek out a spot in the B.C. Hockey League.However, the joys of playing in Junior B were quickly dashed at the Junior A level. The bad taste forced Currie to ask Wheeldon if there was a spot still on the Leafs.“Going to play BCHL last year as a 19-year-old I felt I wasn’t going to get that opportunity of being on a first or second line . . . realized all I would play is third or fourth line,” Currie said. “I never really wanted to tryout because after three previous years of being shutdown by teams and coaches and some never even calling me back, I’ve always come back here an never had a negative thought. “So looking at all the positives here, and never seeing one positive in the BCHL, I really wanted to stay here and I’m really glad with my decision.”Of course that decision was a little second-guessed by Currie when the Leafs jumped out to a, wait for it, a 0-4 start. The results didn’t get any better during the month of September for the younger, inexperienced Leafs. Nelson finished the month at 3-6, including a loss to bottom-feeding Grand Forks.However, since September Nelson has been gliding along at an 11-5 clip to climb to within two points of third-place Spokane Braves and eight behind Murdoch-leading Castlegar Rebels.A team the Leafs will be eager to knock down a few notches, Saturday in the old stomping grounds of Laughton, Carlson and McDonnell as the franchise helps Nelson celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Civic Centre.“Right now we’re finally starting to play like a team so hopefully everything will start to fall into place . . . which I sure it will,” said Currie.Who is looking to create his own history — history that surely will be talked about when Nelson celebrates 75 years in the current NDCC [email protected]last_img read more

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SA retailer opens in Angola

first_imgWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material South Africa’s biggest single brand store network, PEP, is extending its southern African store footprint into Angola and making a major investment in Africa’s fastest-growing country. In addition to the Lobito store, PEP plans to open more stores in Namibe, Benguela, Sumbe and Lubango within the next year. With the launch of its first store in Angola, PEP now operates in 11 southern African countries. PEP Africa has been operating for 10 years and has 38 stores in Zambia, 22 in Malawi and 30 in Mozambique. Distribution centre SAinfo reporter “According to our research, affordable clothing and products are the most important factors for Angolan customers.” “We chose Benguela as the location for our DC as this is central to our store expansion programme and essential to our logistical needs,” said Jacobs.center_img “We believe that our product offering of value for money and functionality is right for the Angolan market,” PEP Africa GM Willie Jacobs said in a statement at the end of October. The balance of PEP’s 1 310 stores are in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. 7 November 2008 As part of its commitment to and investment in this new market, PEP has opened a 2 000 square metre dedicated distribution centre. Following extensive research in Angola over the last two years, PEP Africa was confident of its growth and success in the new market, with its first store opening in Lobito, central Angola, on 31 October. According to PEP, new Angola GM Gerrie Scheepers is fluent in Portuguese, and brings extensive and relevant experience, having been GM of PEP’s successful Mozambique operation for the past five years.last_img read more

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Todd’s Take

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Todd HultmanDTN Lead AnalystMuch of last week in DTN’s newsroom was spent preparing for USDA’s reports on Friday. Ever since USDA closed the lockup room in Washington, D.C., last year, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report day has taken on an extra layer of anxiety as a whole village of staff plans and works behind the scenes to make sure we all hum in unison to get USDA’s new estimates out as quickly and accurately as possible.We’ve all seen hectic portrayals of newsrooms in the movies with people yelling and reporters running through the office to make deadlines. WASDE report day at DTN is actually much different. There is an eerie quiet when the clock strikes 11:00 a.m. Every second waiting for data to show up feels like a minute, and when the numbers do appear, a nervous chatter of cross-checking begins.Coming off of a five-week government shutdown, Friday had plenty of new estimates to examine, ranging from U.S. and South American crop estimates to Dec. 1 grain stocks to winter wheat seedings with numerous details in between. As DTN’s lead analyst with exactly one hour to prepare a public webinar, I was scrambling to highlight the most important findings and slap up the best charts I could get ready.Now in my 35th year of watching WASDE reports, I have to admit the process has not gotten any easier. In my role at DTN, I no longer trade markets, but the tight stomach never goes away and I am constantly wondering how USDA might surprise us this time. Both in my older days as a broker and trader and my more recent days as an analyst, there has always been a concern of having overlooked something.After Friday’s duties were done and I had a little time to reflect on what just happened, it seemed to me that the reports in general had been fairly tame. There was even some slightly bullish news. USDA reported record-high corn demand for the first quarter of 2018-19. World ending soybean stocks had also fallen more than expected, thanks to modest revisions from previous years.What I didn’t realize until later Friday evening were the surprises in Friday’s data, which many probably missed. It didn’t come from the WASDE report or the grain stocks report, or even winter wheat seedings. It came from USDA’s Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade, a less-talked-about publication that is full of helpful information (see it here: https://apps.fas.usda.gov/…).The February issue began with a bullish headline: “Smaller Supplies to Limit Brazil’s 2018-19 Soybean Exports.” Opening remarks explained how USDA expects Brazil’s soybean exports to drop from 84.2 million metric tons (mmt) in 2017-18 (the local season that just ended on Jan. 31, 2019) to 70.0 mmt, or 2.57 billion bushels (bb), in 2018-19.WASDE estimates, based on the U.S. crop year, don’t match with Brazil’s local season, but the thought that Brazil just exported 84.2 mmt of soybeans and USDA estimated China’s total import needs at 88.0 mmt is a bit breathtaking. A new-crop estimate of 70.0 mmt of exports offers some relief, but is still a lot of soybeans for the U.S. to compete against.Now for the interesting surprise: Under a section titled “Brazil and Argentina Soybean Stock Adjustments,” USDA explained how they had just gone back to 2000-01 and revised ending stocks estimates for the two countries. For Argentina’s latest marketing year, which will end on March 31, 2019, December’s ending stocks estimate of 16.85 mmt was roughly cut in half, to 8.44 mmt, or 310 mb.For Brazil’s latest marketing year, which ended on Jan. 31, 2019, December’s estimate of ending soybean stocks was raised from 775,000 metric tons (mt), or 28 million bushels (mb), to 1.15 mmt, or 123 mb — not a huge difference. However, looking back at prior years, USDA now says the local seasons from 2011-12 to 2016-17 had far higher ending stocks than previously estimated. Four of the years had ending stocks four times higher than originally estimated.As the report admits, “Determining realistic stock numbers for both Argentina and Brazil has been an issue for some time.” This reminded me of an email exchange I had with a USDA official in early 2016 (written about here: https://www.dtnpf.com/…).At the time, I asked the official if he could offer any insight as to how Brazil’s soybean prices could be so low at a time when USDA was estimating ending stocks at an “unbelievably low 17 mb for the current marketing year?”As I explained in the article, USDA was not willing to make a public comment, but the anonymous official offered some helpful possibilities, which included unreported production and unreported imports. He did not specifically mention Argentina, but it was not difficult to imagine Argentine farmers finding creative ways to get around punitive export taxes by crossing the border.Within four months, USDA revised 11 years of corn data for China, adding nearly 6 billion bushels to its count of ending stocks, and now has revised 18 years of South American ending soybean stocks, showing significant changes through the years.Understandably, some will cuss USDA for being off by so much all these years, and I understand the frustration. But as I see it, the real world is messy. You will not hear me bash USDA for attempting to make their estimates more accurate. I would also not want the unenviable task of trying to figure out how much grain is in any country, especially those that are politically closed or have reputations for political corruption.On a more practical note, however, our customers need to know that DTN’s Six Factor Market Strategies do not depend on USDA’s estimates of world grain inventories, and I would not recommend any producer bet the farm based on these numbers. Let these two recent examples remind us yet again why USDA’s world estimates should be taken lightly. We have other data and market clues that offer more help.After watching WASDE reports for so long, it’s no wonder why my stomach knots up on report day.Todd Hultman can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @ToddHultman(BE/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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